This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
Get ready to make perfectly juicy burgers in minutes without a trip to the drive-through. Air Fryer Hamburgers are a healthier alternative to those fast-food cheeseburgers. But they are still moist and delicious, especially when you add all of your favorite toppings!
Disclosure: I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #LaurasLean campaign, sponsored by Laura’s Lean™. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.
Air Fryer Hamburgers – Making Healthier Burgers
I truly love a good burger. But as someone who is gluten free and is always looking for heart-healthy meals due to my genetic high cholesterol, fast-food and restaurant burgers are not always the best option for me. That’s why I prefer to make them at home!
You see, then I can start with lean ground beef, like Laura’s Lean™ 92% or 96% Lean Ground Beef. Both provide a healthier option for those looking to add clean, lean protein to their diet. I feel good about enjoying and serving my family meals made with it because Laura’s Lean 96% Lean Ground Beef is certified by the American Heart Association as “extra lean”, and meets strict USDA standards to qualify as “lean”. The protein is also sourced from suppliers that “Never Ever” used added hormones or antibiotics.
And, let’s just say that it makes some pretty epic burgers! Keeping it real, though, I also need my homemade burgers to be just as fast and easy as the drive-through. Trust me, these take just a few minutes of prep and under 10 minutes to cook. But first, there are a few things to know to make them turn out perfectly.
What is the secret to juicy hamburgers?
There is a misconception that you can’t make moist burgers with lean ground beef. But that is totally false. With a few simple tips, your burgers will turn out perfectly!
Add moisture-infusing ingredients: A bit of liquid such as Worcestershire sauce gives extra moisture and delicious beefy flavor. And minced onions will release their juices as the burgers cook, keeping them moist and also providing extra deliciousness. Other options are minced mushrooms or peppers, and even steak sauce or ketchup.
Don’t overwork the meat: You want to use your hands to just combine the ground beef with the other ingredients, then handle the meat mixture as little as possible to form the patties. This will keep your burgers from getting dense and tough.
Use a healthier fat: To add a little moisture from fat, in place of some of the animal fat from a higher fat content beef, a healthier option is a heart-healthy fat like avocado oil. A little bit brushed on the outside of the burgers helps sear the outside and seal in the juices.
Use an air fryer. While grilled burgers are great, an air fryer is convenient any time of the yer. It’s right in your kitchen, preheats in just a couple of minutes, and cooks the burgers quickly, in under 10 minutes, so they don’t even have an opportunity to get dry.
Don’t overcook the burgers. Whatever method you use, you do not want to exceed an internal temperature of 160°F. An extra well-done burger will be tough and dry.
Let it rest. Letting your burgers rest for about 5 minutes before enjoying them will allow the juices and flavors to redistribute and not run out the moment you sink your teeth into them. Plus that gives you time to add the toppings!
Make sure you add Laura’s Lean Ground Beef to your shopping list, whether you are headed to one of many local retail stores nationwide, or doing your shopping online. Besides the beef, you only need a handful of basic ingredients. And, of course, your favorite toppings, but more on that later.
For the air fryer hamburgers:
- Lean ground beef: I recommend Laura’s Lean 92% or 96% Ground Beef. You’ll need one 1-pound package to make four burgers.
- Worcestershire sauce: Be sure the brand you use is gluten free, if needed.
- Onion: Very finely minced to add flavor and moisture.
- Salt and pepper: Season to taste.
- Avocado oil: For coating the burgers. Beware that olive oil has a low smoke point so can scorch and add a bitter flavor.
- Cheese slices: This is optional, but if you want to make cheeseburgers, American or mild cheddar are the classic options. Thinly sliced cheese is great to make your burgers tasty but does not add a lot of additional fat and cholesterol.
- Burger buns: Classic, whole wheat, or gluten free hamburger buns, depending on your needs and preferences.
- Toppings: Make the lightened-up burger sauce below, or add lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, or whatever you like.
For the burger sauce:
- Plain Greek yogurt: Lowfat or nonfat are great.
- Ketchup: Look for a natural or organic version, if you can.
- Sweet pickle relish
- White vinegar
How to Make Air Fryer Hamburgers
With just a few simple steps, you’ll be sinking your teeth into delicious air fryer burgers. They only take 7 to 9 minutes in the air fryer to be cooked to perfection, with another few seconds if you want to make them into cheeseburgers.
Preparations: Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. And whether you have a minute, you can stir together the burger sauce ingredients and store it in the refrigerator.
Make the meat mixture: Place the beef into a medium bowl, and add Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix gently until well-combined, but do not over mix.
Form the burgers: Divide the meat into four equal balls. Press into patties about ½ inch thick. Make an indentation in each burger with your thumb so that they don’t expand too much in the middle. Lightly brush the outsides of the burgers with olive oil.
Air fry hamburgers: Depending on the size of your air fryer, place 2 to 4 burgers in the air fryer and cook at 350°F for 4 minutes. Flip and cook at 350°F for another 3 to 5 minutes, or just below your desired doneness, not letting the burgers exceed an internal temperature of 160°F. Top each burger with a slice of cheese. I like to fold over the corners of the cheese slices so it doesn’t all run off the burger. Turn the air fryer back on at 350°F for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, or just until the cheese melts.
Serve. Let the burgers rest for about 5 minutes to seal in the juices and flavor. Then enjoy your air fryer burgers on a bun or make it keto-friendly with lettuce wraps. Add your favorite burger fixings and get ready to dig in!
What are the best burger toppings?
It really is the fixings that make the burger. Here are some favorites. If you have others you love, be sure to let us know in the comments!
- Cheese – of course, I had to make these air fryer cheeseburgers. You can skip the cheese, but if you use think sliced or reduced-fat American or cheddar cheese, you can still keep your burgers healthier.
- Veggies – you can’t go wrong with your favorites like lettuce, tomato, onions, or pickles.
- Ketchup – if you want to skip the extra added sugar, you can always make Homemade Ketchup or amp up that umami flavor with Worcestershire Ketchup.
- Burger sauce – also known as fry sauce or Big Mac sauce, you can get the flavor you love but swap out the mayo-laden spread by making the Greek yogurt-based version included in this recipe.
- Avocado – delicious and filled with heart-healthy fats, but you can even lighten it up by making Avocado Crema using plain Greek yogurt.
- Bacon – in moderation, this is always a tasty addition to burgers.
Make it a Meal
Your air fryer hamburgers aren’t complete without sides! And yes, you can even enjoy more nutritious versions of some of the classic pairings like these.
- Cauliflower Tots
- Air Fryer Fries
- Zucchini Tater Tots
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- Dijon Apple Coleslaw
- Healthy Broccoli Salad
- Herb Oven Fries
More Recipes to Make with Lean Ground Beef
Air Fryer Hamburgers
For the burgers:
For the burger sauce:
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
For the burgers:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
- Place the beef into a medium bowl, and add Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix gently until well-combined, but do not over mix.
- Divide the meat into four equal balls. Press into patties about ½ inch thick. Make an indentation in each burger with your thumb. Lightly brush the outsides of the burgers with olive oil.
- Depending on the size of your air fryer, place 2 to 4 burgers in the air fryer and cook at 350°F for 4 minutes. Flip and cook at 350°F for another 3 to 5 minutes, or just below your desired doneness, no higher than an internal temperature of 160°F. Top each burger with a slice of cheese and turn the air fryer back on at 350°F for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, or just until the cheese melts.
- Let the burgers rest for 5 minutes, then serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and burger sauce, or your desired toppings.
For the burger sauce:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth and uniform. Store covered in the refrigerator.